I'm a bit of a data junkie so like knowing all the extra stats around hydration level, fat %, BMI, muscle mass etc. I find knowing this extra data helps keep me on target - ther's nothing quite so motiviating as demonstrable progress!
Before the Garmin Index scales I used a Tanita 1000 body compsition monitor and it worked OK. Except it didn't have a screen and it would only connect to a computer via ANT+. This meant that it had to be kept in the study (which is where the PC lives) and the PC had to be on every time you wanted to weigh yourtself. This was all a bit of a palava. So when the garmin scales came out, complete with a built in display and wifi integration to Garmin Connect, it seemed like a decent upgrade.
The scales themselves are nice and simple. Supplied with batteries and extra-wide feet that you can fit if your scale is sitting on carpet, there's not much you need to do to get these up and running. But running is only as far as a "pairing" screen. And from there you've got to use the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone to get things set up properly, including telling it which wifi network to connect to. To be hones, while relatively straightforward, the setup process seemed like a bit of a faff and that there's room for improvement. It's also annoying that to have someone else in the house use the scale they also need to have a garmin connect account and be "invited" to use the scale! Fortunately, both me and my wife have garmin connect accounts but if you don't you're likely to feel a bit annoyed that your £100 scale isn't functional without a smartphone and yet another cloud-service app.
Once setup, these are delightfully simple to use. Just stand on the glass plate with bare feet and wait. It will look at your weight and select the profile it thinks is the closest fit. Do nothing and it will use the recommended profile. Tap your right foot and you can cycle through the stored profiles to select an alternative. Then you just wait about 5 seconds for the emasurements to be taken after which they are cycled through on the LCD display - Mass, BMI, Water %, Fat % Muscle mass, bone mass - Repeat. The results are autmoatically uploaded to the internet over Wifi and linked straight in to your garmin connect account. They will show up as a screen in your Garmin Connect mobile app, reporting weight trends as your results build up over time.
In terms of accuracy, these seem to be about the same as my old Tanita BCM-1000 scales. If anything I might suggest that they're a bit better. The weight is pretty accurate and so BMI is accurate too (provided your Connect profile has the right height!). The other readings seem to be consistent and this is where these scales outperform the Tanita BMC-1000 in my view. While I wouldn't suggest that the Water%, Fat% and Muscle/Bone mass ratings are accurate, they do seem to be consistent and that means you can use them to track progress.
On the down-side, you can get body composition monitors for a LOT cheaper, so the price seems to be inflated by the Garmin Brand. It also requires you to have a Garmin Connect account. The scale itself isn't reason enough to set up a garmin connect account but if you're already using some of their other fitness products (running, cycling, pedomoeter etc) then it adds to the overall appeal.
On the up-side then, these look cool, support multiple users and provide good measurement of weight and consistene measurement of other metrics. It's all automatically uploaded to your garmin account too. And there's a display so you don't have to look at your phone to find out how heavy you are.
All things considered, I've been happy with these scales. I weigh mnyself more often than I didn with the old Tanita scales and it works just fine in the bathroom - happily uploading the results to the cloud as well as showing them on the screen. If they could knock a chunk off the price it would make them far more compelling. As it is, I'll give them 4 stars,